* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** [[DesignatedHero Jackson]]: A KarmaHoudini whose attempt to sneak his family aboard the ark is directly responsible for two deaths (which soon after turn out to be pointless) and [[NiceJobBreakingItHero nearly killed everybody else aboard as well]].
** [[DesignatedVillain Anheuser]]: A ReasonableAuthorityFigure who bravely confronts and takes responsibility for the unenviable soul-wrenching decisions on how to best preserve the human race.
*** Not surprising, since good leadership usually goes to reasonable and pragmatic sociopaths.
* {{Anvilicious}}: [[spoiler:"The whole continent of Africa has risen."]]
* BellisariosMaxim: Keep this and the MST3KMantra close at hand and you just might enjoy this movie.
* CargoShip: A humorous take, sounding a lot like a one night stand.
--> '''Sasha:''' (to Antonov) Come on, baby. Lift your big ass for Sasha!
* ClicheStorm: Deliberate. Even includes cliches that haven't been in movies for a few years, at no extra cost!
* CrazyAwesome: Charlie Frost, again.
* DesignatedVillain: Carl Anheuser. Though he makes some good points about [[WellIntentionedExtremist how to keep as many people alive as possible]], namely by not endangering the remaining human race by letting the rest of the refugees on board, [[ExactTimeToFailure racing against time]] and, if they survive that, the strain on their remaining resources. He doesn't even tell ''his own mother'' to board, [[WeWillHaveEuthanasiaInTheFuture though he has good reason]]: she's "89 years old, in a wheelchair, and has slight dementia. And I'm confident that she would want to go ready to meet her maker on her own terms."
* EnsembleDarkhorse: The Russians. Among them, Sasha is probably the biggest for completely avoid any idiot tendencies and being a badass. Tamara for MsFanservice and also being a good person.
** Carl Anheuser has some fans.
* {{Glurge}}: Noah's anguished tearful moment with Jackson before he goes to repair the gears. It would be a nice heartwarming moment...if not for the fact that the kid is holding his Dad up at a very time-sensitive moment and is risking millions of lives. Rather than sympathising with the kid, many viewers wanted to punch him for [[spoiler: causing Tamara to drown]].
** No one will dispute the kid's general annoyance and uselessness. And yet, [[spoiler: he is the one who saw that one of the equipments jamming the gears is the cable.]]
* HamAndCheese: Woody Harrelson gloriously overacts in each of his scenes, completely stealing the show.
* HarsherInHindsight: [[spoiler: Japan getting destroyed by an earthquake. Come a few months later, the country was hit by this ''and'' a tsunami.]] Then come October 2012, and New York get flooded, [[spoiler: which happens here, too.]]
* MemeticMutation: "The neutrinos have mutated!"
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Yuri leaving Tamara, Gordon, and the Curtis family for dead. Although Yuri's saving his children [[spoiler:[[HeroicSacrifice before falling at least 50 feet to his demise]]]] does show that he did have redeeming qualities, but not enough.
*** Furthermore, whoever gave out passes to the arks should be blamed, thus not making it entirely Yuri's fault.
** Yuri bringing his girlfriend along in the first place, knowing he's going to leave her behind just when she thinks she's safe.
** Anheuser has the Arks launched early, leaving behind the refugees and passengers of Ark 3, even though there was plenty of room and enough time to board them. {{Lampshaded}} by an outraged Adrian when shown his quarters.
-->''"What the hell is this?! You could fit ten people in here!"''
** The film even picks up on this. Once Anheuser makes this decision, his influence over the crew dramatically declines, to the point where they begin to question his leadership.
* MST3KMantra: Just enjoy it as a story about the human spirit in the face of adversity, plus copious amounts of StuffBlowingUp, and this might turn out to be a decent film in an undemanding sort of way.
* NightmareFuel: See [[NightmareFuel/TwoThousandTwelve here.]]
* OneSceneWonder: The movie's got really strong supporting actors. Perhaps the most memorable is Woody Harrelson, who gleefully [[ChewingTheScenery chews the entire Yellowstone park]] as a crackpot conspiracy theorist.
* TheScrappy: '''NOAH'''. The kid is a dick to his father for the first act and does nothing but scream and complain for the entire disaster. He's also TheLoad and a borderline DamselScrappy. His sister avoids this by being funny and cute at times.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: Very little (Creator/RolandEmmerich and all), but the real water in the climax is pretty striking next to the CGI water we've seen throughout the film.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: The closest thing that the film has to a villain is Oliver Platt's heartless presidential adviser, who's an obvious TakeThat to GeorgeWBush and Dick Cheney -- note that his name is Anheuser, presumably after Anheuser-''Busch'' breweries. However, after the fifth or sixth argument where his level-headed pragmatism is contrasted with the HonorBeforeReason [[ChronicHeroSyndrome Save Everyone]] bleeding-heart attitude of the rest of the cast, you kind of have to wonder if maybe the writers did not secretly agree with him. Some examples:
** He is heavily criticized for keeping the impending disaster a secret from the general public, although announcing the end of the world would've caused massive panic and hysteria and helped no one.
** Ejiofor complains that "only rich people" are being let onto the Arks, to which Platt responds that the money they spent buying tickets is what funded the Arks in the first place. That and [[DeadpanSnarker snarking]] "Oh, you mean life ''isn't fair?!''"
*** No one seems to point out that those "rich people" won't be rich after the catastrophe. Even if they could take all their money with them, it'll be worthless in a world without an economy to back it up. They'll have to work just like everyone else.
** When Ejiofor wants to open up the Ark to save one more family, Platt chews him out for [[TheNeedsOfTheMany wanting to risk everyone's lives just for a slim chance of saving five or six more people]].
** Basically after only minutes of Ejiofor explaining the situation he is in action and spearheads the top secret, international mega project to save the entire human species species, many of its cultural treasures, and many of the other species as well. This plan largely succeeds in spite of things happening months earlier than Ejiofor forecast and the meddling of many of the "Heros".
** Then there's Anheuser's claim they shouldn't open the ark doors to let more people on the ark. For starters, they had 15 minutes before the water hit the boat (and it took a long time for the door to open), and if the door malfunctioned and wouldn't close, every person on the boat would be in danger, dooming the human race (which is exactly what almost happened). On top of that, people are going to be on that ark for years, if not decades, therefore they have a limited number of supplies. If they started running out of food, they would have to either start rationing food to ridiculously low extremes, and people would go crazy and kill people so they would have more food for themselves or some people would just starve to death. Yes, Adrian claimed you could fit 10 people in 1 room, however being confined with 10 people for years would not only be uncomfortable, but create major antagonism between the passengers, something you don't want when they are the last surviving humans.
*** The length of the trip can be disputed. This is the 21st century, it would be surprising if the trip to Africa took more than a week.
* TearJerker: The movie is ''loaded'' with these.
* UnfortunateImplications: The main characters see people in Arab dress boarding the ships, and assume that they must be [[ArabOilSheikh oil tycoons]] who paid for tickets. Because there's no way Arabs could be, for example, scientists or geniuses who had been chosen for inclusion on the ship. To be fair, they notice them at the end of a line of businessmen and rich guys. That comment doesn't have to refer to them specifically.
** Most of the Russian characters ([[InfantImmortality who are not children]]) do not survive.
*** Made worse since they all died saving someone, while the American stars lived but caused the deaths of an untold number of people.
** The last death seemed only to serve to make the family a perfect whole.
** The UnfortunateImplications of the SceneryGorn. The destruction of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio and the demise of the entire Vatican are shown in exquisite detail. But the Kaaba? Emmerich was terrified of getting a fatwa should he film such a scene.
*** He had good reasons to believe in such a response. Let's just put it this way, compared to Muslims, when is the last time a Christian or Jew tried to carry out a serious threat of murder against someone who has offended their delicate sensibilities?
** The subtle implication of all these wealthy foreigners rushing [[spoiler: towards ''Africa'' at the end]] - [[TheEmpire "Wow, fresh land? Let's take it!"]]
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Well duh, it's a Creator/RolandEmmerich film. I dare you to watch the thrilling climax [[spoiler: in which a colossal ark careens through the flooded Himlayas]] and not enjoy it.
* WhatAnIdiot: Gordon, despite the fact that he's the only one with any sort of experience flying a plane, insists that he shouldn't be the one flying multiple times.
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